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  1. Don Firriulieddu
  2. Pitidda
  3. The Sexton's Nose
  4. Godmother Fox
  5. The Cat and the Mouse
  6. The Cock That Wished to Become Pope

Don Firriulieddu

Once on a time there was a farmer who had a daughter who used to take his dinner to him in the fields. One day he said to her: "So that you may find me I will sprinkle bran along the way; follow the bran, and you will come to me."

By chance an old ogre passed that way, and seeing the bran, said: "This means something." So he took the bran and scattered it so that it led to his own house.

When the daughter set out to take her father his dinner, she followed the bran till she came to the ogre's house. When the ogre saw the young girl, he said: "You must be my wife." Then she began to weep.

When the father saw that his daughter did not appear, he went home in the evening, and began to search for her; and not finding her, he asked God to give him a son or a daughter.

A year after, he had a son whom they called "Don Firriulieddu." When the child was three days old it spoke, and said: "Have you made me a cloak? Now give me a little dog and the cloak, for I must look for my sister." So he set out and went to seek his sister.

After a while he came to a plain where he saw a number of men, and asked: "Whose cattle are these?"

The herdsman replied: "They belong to an ogre who fears neither God nor the saints, but who fears Don Firriulieddu who is three days old and is on the way and gives his dog bread and says: 'Eat, my dog, and do not bark, for we have fine things to do.'"

Afterwards he saw a flock of sheep, and asked: "Whose are these sheep?" and got the same answer as from the herdsman. Then he arrived at the ogre's house and knocked. His sister opened the door and saw the child. "Who are you looking for?" she said.

"I am looking for you, for I am your brother, and you must return to mamma."

When the ogre heard that Don Firriulieddu was there, he went and hid himself upstairs. Don Firriulieddu asked his sister: "Where is the ogre?"

"Upstairs."

Don Firriulieddu said to his dog: "Go upstairs and bark, and I will follow you." The dog went up and barked, and Firriulieddu followed him, and killed the ogre. Then he took his sister and an amount of money, and they went home to their mother, and are all contented.

Pitidda

Once on a time there was a mother who had a daughter named Pitidda. She said to Pitidda: "Go and sweep the house."

"Give me some bread first."

"I cannot," the mother answered. When she saw that her daughter would not sweep the house, she called the wolf. "Wolf, go and kill Pitidda, for Pitidda will not sweep the house."

"I cannot," said the wolf.

"Dog, go and kill the wolf," said the mother, "for the wolf will not kill Pitidda who will not sweep the house."

"I cannot," said the dog.

"Stick, go and kill the dog, for the dog will not kill the wolf, and the wolf won't kill Pitidda whowon't sweep the house."

"I cannot," said the stick.

"Fire, burn the stick, for the stick won't kill the dog, the dog won't kill the wolf, and the wolf won't kill Pitidda who won't sweep the house."

"I cannot," said the fire.

"Water, quench the fire, for the fire won't burn the stick, the stick won't kill the dog, the dog won't kill the wolf, and the wolf won't kill Pitidda who won't sweep the house."

"I cannot."

"Cow, go and drink the water, for the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the stick, the stick won't kill the dog, the dog won't kill the wolf, and the wolf won't kill Pitidda who won't sweep the house."

"I cannot," said the cow.

"Rope, go and choke the cow, for the cow won't drink the water, the water won't quench the fire, the fire won't burn the stick, the stick won't kill the dog, the dog won't kill the wolf, and the wolf won't kill Pitidda who won't sweep the house."

Then the mother called on the mouse to gnaw the rope.

"I cannot," said the mouse.

Then the mother called on the cat to eat the mouse, and the cat ran toward the mouse. The mouse at once began to gnaw the rope, the rope tried to choke the cow, the cow strove to drink the water, the water began to quench the fire, the fire tried to burn the stick, the stick to kill the dog, the dog to kill the wolf, the wolf to kill Pitidda - but then Pitidda started to sweep the house, and her mother came running and gave her some bread.

[Retold]

The Sexton's Nose

A sexton was one day sweeping the church when he found a piece of money. He started to think of what he would buy with it. If he bought nuts or almonds, he feared tghat mice could eat them; so at last he bought some roasted peas and ate all but the last pea. This he took to a bakery nearby and asked the mistress to keep it for him.

She told him to leave it on a bench, and she would take care of it. But when she went to get it, she found that the cock had eaten it.

Next day the sexton came for the roast pea. When he heard what had become of it, he said they must either return the roast pea or give him the cock. They gave him the cock. The sexton, not having any place to keep it, took it to a miller's wife, who promised to keep it for him.

Now she had a pig, and the pig managed to kill the cock. Next day the sexton came for the cock. On finding it dead he demanded the pig, and the woman had to give it to him. He left the pig left with a friend of his, a pastry-cook, whose daughter was to be married the next day. But the pastry-cook's wife was mean and sly and killed the pig for her daughter's wedding, meaning to tell the sexton that the pig had run away.

The sexton, however, when he heard it, made a great fuss, and declared that she must give him back his pig or her daughter. At last she had to give him her daughter. He put her in a bag and carried her away. He took the bag to a woman who kept a shop, and asked her to keep for him this bag. He said there was barn in it.

The woman by chance kept chickens, and she thought she would take some of the sexton's bran and feed them. When she opened the bag she found the young girl, who told her how she came there. The woman took her out of the sack and put in her stead a dog.

Next day the sexton came for his bag and put it on his shoulder, Then he started for the sea-shore, intending to throw the young girl in the sea. When he reached the shore, he opened the bag, and the furious dog flew out and bit his nose. The sexton was in great agony and cried out while the blood ran down his face: "Dog, dog, give me a hair to put in my nose and heal the bite."

The dog answered: "Do you want a hair? Then give me some bread."

The sexton ran to a bakery and said to the baker: "Baker, give me some bread to give the dog to make him give me a hair to put in my nose and cure his bite."

The baker said: "Do you want bread? Then give me some wood."

The sexton ran to the woodman. "Woodman, give me wood to give the baker so that the baker will give me bread; I'll give the bread to the dog to make him give me a hair to put in my nose and heal his bite."

The woodman said: "Do you want wood? Then give me a mattock."

The sexton ran to a smith. "Smith, give me a mattock to give the woodman so that the woodman will give me wood; I'll carry the wood to the baker; the baker will give me bread; I'll give the bread to the dog to make him give me a hair to put that hair in my nose and heal his bite."

The smith said: "Do you want a mattock? Then give me some coals."

The sexton ran to the collier. "Collier, give me some coals to give the smith so that the smith will give me a mattock; I'll give the mattock to the woodman; the woodman will give me some wood; I'll give the baker the wood; the baker will give me bread; I'll give the dog the bread to make him give me a hair to put in my nose and heal his bite."

"Do you want coals? Then give me a cart."

The sexton ran to the wagon-maker. "Wagon-maker, give me a cart to give the collier so that the collier will give me some coals; I'll carry the coals to the smith; the smith will give me a mattock; I'll give the mattock to the woodman; the woodman will give me some wood; I'll give the baker the wood; the baker will give me bread; I'll give the bread to the dog to make him give me a hair; and I will put that hair in my nose and heal his bite."

The wagon-maker was moved to compassion and gave him the cart. The sexton, well pleased, took the cart and went away to the collier. The collier gave him the coals, and the sexton took the coals to the smith. The smith gave him the mattock, and the sexton took the mattock to the woodman. The woodman gave him wood, and the sexton carried the wood to the baker. The baker gave him bread, and when the sexton carried the bread to the dog the dog gave him a hair. The sexton put the hair in his nose and the wound stopped bleeding.

[Retold]

Godmother Fox

Once on a time there was Godmother Fox and Godmother Goat. The former had a tiny house adorned with little chairs, cups, and dishes; in short, it was well furnished. One day Godmother Goat went out and carried away the little house. Godmother Fox began to lament. Along came a dog, barking, that said to her: "What are you crying about?"

She answered: "Godmother Goat has carried off my house!"

"I will make her give it back to you."

The dog went and said to Godmother Goat: "Give the house back to Godmother Fox."

The goat answered: "With my horns I could tear you in pieces."

When the dog heard that, he went away.

Then a sheep passed by and said to the little fox: "What are you crying about?" and she told her the same thing. Then the sheep went to Godmother Goat and began to reprove her. The goat made the same answer she had made the dog, and the sheep went away in fright.

Many sorts of animals went to the goat with the same result.

At last a mouse came and said to the little fox: "What are you crying about?"

"Godmother Goat has carried off my house."

"Take heart. I will make her give it back to you."

So the mouse went and said to Godmother Goat: "Give Godmother Fox her house back right away."

The goat answered: "With my hoofs and with my horns I might smash you!"

The mouse answered at once: "By my side I have a spit. I will heat it in the fire and stick it in your tail."

Godmother Goat gave back the house.

[Retold]

The Cat and the Mouse

Once on a time there was a cat that wanted to get married. So she stood on a corner, and everyone who passed by said: "Little cat, what's the matter?"

"What's the matter? I want to marry."

A dog passed by and said: "Do you want me?"

"When I see how you can sing."

The dog said: "Bow, wow!"

"Fy! What horrid singing! I don't want you."

A pig passed. "Do you want me, little cat?"

"When I see how you sing."

"Uh! uh!"

"Fy! You are horrid! Go away! I don't want you."

A calf passed and said: "Little cat, will you take me?"

"When I see how you sing."

"Uhm!"

"Go away! What do you want of me?"

A mouse passed by: "Little cat, what are you doing?"

"I am going to get married."

"Will you take me?"

"And how can you sing?"

"Ziu, ziu!"

The cat accepted him, and said: "Let us go and be married, for you please me." So they were married.

One day the cat went to buy some pastry and left the mouse at home. "Don't stir out, for I am going to buy some pastry." The mouse went into the kitchen, saw the pot on the fire, and crept into it, for he wanted to eat the beans. But he did not, for the pot began to boil, and the mouse stayed there.

The cat came back and began to cry; but the mouse did not appear. So the cat put the pastry in the pot for dinner. When it was ready the cat ate, and put some on a plate for the mouse, also.

When she took out the pastry she saw the mouse stuck fast in it. "Ah! my little mouse! ah! my little mouse!" so she went and sat behind the door, lamenting the mouse.

"What is the matter?" said the door. "Why are you scratching so and tearing out your hair?"

The cat said: "What is the matter? My mouse is dead, and so I tear my hair."

The door answered: "I will slam to take part in your sorrow."

In the door was a window, which said: "What's the matter, door, that you are slamming?"

"The mouse died, the cat is tearing her hair, and I am slamming."

The window answered: "And I, as window, will open and shut."

In the window was a tree, that said: "Window, why do you open and shut?"

The window answered: "The mouse died, the cat tears her hair, the door slams, and I open and shut." The tree answered and said: "And I, as tree, will throw myself down."

A bird happened to alight in this tree, and said: "Tree, why did you throw yourself down?"

The tree replied: "The mouse died, the cat tears her hair, the door slams, the window opens and shuts, and I, as tree, threw myself down."

"And I, as bird, will pull out my feathers."

The bird went and alighted on a fountain, which said: "Bird, why are you plucking out your feathers so?"

The bird answered as the others had done, and the fountain said: "And I, as fountain, will dry up."

A cuckoo went to drink at the fountain, and asked: "Fountain, why have you dried up?"

The fountain told him all that had happened. "And I, as cuckoo, will put my tail in the fire."

Then came the queen. When she heard what the matter was, she said: "And I, as queen, will go and sift the meal."

At last the king came by and asked: "Wife, why are you sifting the meal?"

When the queen had told him everything, he said: "And I, as king, am going to take my coffee."

[Retold]

The Cock That Wished to Become Pope

It occurred once to the cock to go to Rome and have himself elected Pope. So he started out, and on the way found a letter, which he took with him. The hen met him, and asked: "Mr. Cock, where are you going?"

"I am going to Rome, to be Pope."

"Will you take me with you?" she asked.

"First I must look in my letter," said the cock, and looked at his letter. "Come along; if I become Pope, you can be the Popess."

So Mr. Cock and Mrs. Hen continued their journey and met a cat, who said: "Mr. Cock and Mrs. Hen, where are you going?"

"We are going to Rome, and wish to be Pope and Popess."

"Will you take me with you?"

"Wait until I look in my letter," said the cock, and glanced at it. "Very well; come along; you can be our lady's-maid."

After a while they met a weasel, who asked: "Where are you going, Mr. Cock, Mrs. Hen, and Mrs. Cat?"

"We are going to Rome, where I intend to become Pope," answered the cock. "Will you take me with you?"

"Wait until I look in my letter," said he. When the cock looked in his letter, he said: "Very well; come along."

So the three animals continued their journey together towards Rome. At night-fall they came to a little house where lived an old witch, who had just gone out. So each animal chose a place to suit him. The weasel sat himself in the cupboard, the cat on the hearth in the warm ashes, and the cock and the hen flew up on the beam over the door.

When the old witch came home she wanted to get a light out of the cupboard, and the weasel struck her in the face with his tail. Then she wanted to light the candle, and went to the hearth. She took the bright eyes of the cat for live coals and tried to light the match by them, and hit the cat in the eyes. The cat jumped in her face and scratched her frightfully. When the cock heard all the noise he began to crow loudly. Then the witch saw that they were no ghosts, but harmless domestic animals, and took a stick and drove all four out of the house.

The cat and the weasel had no longer any desire to journey on; but the cock and hen continued their way. When they reached Rome they entered an open church, and the cock said to the sexton: "Have all the bells rung, for now I will be Pope."

"Good!" answered the sexton; "that may be, but just come in here." Then he led the cock and the hen into the sacristry, shut the door, and caught them both. After he had caught them he twisted their necks and put them in the pot. Then he invited his friends, and they ate with great glee Mr. Cock and Mrs. Hen.

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